UAH announces team awards, captains at banquet

Last Wednesday night was the end of season banquet for the Chargers, who celebrated the strides made in the 2014-15 season and looked forward to the next step in the program’s growth.

Sophomore goaltender Carmine Guerriero was the team’s Most Valuable Player of the 2014-15 season. Guerriero had a .928 save percentage, fourth-best in UAH history, and a 2.56 goals against average, fifth-best in program history.

Defensive Player of the Year went to junior Frank Misuraca, who led UAH defensemen in goals with six goals. He was second among Chargers with 69 blocks.

After making the WCHA All-Rookie Team and leading the Chargers in scoring with 23 points, Max McHugh was an obvious choice for Freshman of the Year.

The Charger of the Year Award, which goes to the player who exemplifies what it means to be a UAH Charger, went to senior Craig Pierce. The Roswell, Ga., native became an alternate captain this season, scoring three goals in 28 games and battling a wrist injury.

Also announced were the 2015-16 captains. Junior Brent Fletcher will don the “C” for the Chargers next season, with seniors Frank Misuraca and Chad Brears being the alternate captains.

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McHugh named to WCHA All-Rookie Team

Max McHugh

Max McHugh

Max McHugh, UAH’s freshman forward from Seattle, was named to the All-Rookie Team among the 2014-15 WCHA Awards announced Thursday.

McHugh is the Chargers’ leading scorer with 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points, the most for a UAH player since the 2006-07. He had 10 goals and nine assists for 19 points in WCHA play this season, which was third among all rookies in the league and tied for 19th among freshmen in NCAA Division I.

McHugh has played in all 36 of UAH’s games this season, winning the WCHA Rookie of the Week Award twice. His 12 goals are tied for 12th among all players in the WCHA.

The league also announced its all-academic team, featuring 13 Chargers: Chad Brears (Jr., F, Cold Lake, Alberta, 2013-14 WCHA Outstanding Scholar-Athlete of the Year); Brandon Carlson (So., D, Huntington Beach, Calif.); Alex Carpenter (Jr., F, Portage, Mich.); Brent Fletcher (So., F, New Westminster, British Columbia); Matt Larose (So., G, Nanaimo, British Columbia); Frank Misuraca (Jr., D, Clinton Township, Mich.); Craig Pierce (Sr., F, Roswell, Ga.); Jack Prince (Jr., F, Leicester, England); Doug Reid (Sr., F, Innisfil, Ontario); Ben Reinhardt (Sr., D, Arnprior, Ontario); Regan Soquila (So., F, Maple Ridge, British Columbia); Jeff Vanderlugt (Sr., F, Richmond Hill, Ontario); Anderson White (Jr., D, Caledon, Ontario).

2014-15 WCHA Awards

Player of the Year – Tanner Kero, Sr., F, Michigan Tech
Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year – Tanner Kero, Sr., F, Michigan Tech
Defensive Player of the Year – Colton Parayko, Jr., D, Alaska
Rookie of the Year – Michael Bitzer, Fr., G, Bemidji State
Scoring Champion – Tanner Kero, Sr., F, Michigan Tech
Goaltending Champion – Stephon Williams, Jr., G, Minnesota State
Coach of the Year – Mike Hastings, Minnesota State

2014-15 All-WCHA First Team

Forwards: Tanner Kero, Sr., Michigan Tech; Matt Leitner, Sr., Minnesota State; Tyler Morley, Jr., Alaska
Defensemen: Colton Parayko, Jr., Alaska; Zach Palmquist, Sr., Minnesota State
Goaltender: Jamie Phillips, Jr., Michigan Tech

2014-15 All-WCHA Second Team

Forwards: Bryce Gervais, Jr., Minnesota State; Alex Petan, Jr., Michigan Tech; Malcolm Gould, Jr., Michigan Tech
Defensemen: Matt Prapavessis, Sr., Bemidji State; Casey Nelson, So., Minnesota State
Goaltender: Stephon Williams, Jr., Minnesota State

2014-15 All-WCHA Third Team

Forwards: Blake Pietila, Sr., Michigan Tech; Marcus Basara, So. Alaska; Brendan Harms, So., Bemidji State and Blake Tatchell, Sr., Alaska Anchorage (tied)
Defensemen: Shane Hanna, So., Michigan Tech; Brock Maschmeyer, So., Northern Michigan
Goaltender: CJ Motte, Sr., Ferris State

2014-15 WCHA All-Rookie Team

Forwards: Brandon Hawkins, Bowling Green; C.J. Franklin, Minnesota State; Max McHugh, Alabama Huntsville
Defensemen: Mark Friedman, Bowling Green; Nolan Valleau, Bowling Green
Goaltender: Michael Bitzer, Bemidji State

Series Preview: vs. Ferris State, Feb. 20-21

Times: 7:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Tickets: Ticketmaster: Friday | Saturday
Complete ticket information
Promotions: Kids 12 & under get free admission
Fri.: UAH trading cards to first 500
Sat.: Thunder sticks to first 500
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Live stats:
Twitter: @weloveuahhockey, @uahhockey, @FerrisHockey

The Chargers have a chance to gain ground on the team ahead of them in the WCHA standings as they host Ferris State on Friday and Saturday nights at the VBC. Puck drop is 7:07 p.m. both nights.

UAH is in eighth place in the WCHA, currently the seventh seed for the playoffs. At 15 points, the Chargers are three behind seventh-place Ferris State.

All-time series: UAH is 3-10-0 against Ferris State with the series starting in 1985. One of those victories came on November 21 of this season at FSU, the Chargers’ first-ever win there. UAH is 1-3-0 all-time against Ferris State in Huntsville, with the lone win coming in 2010.

Charger recap: UAH (8-18-4 overall, 7-14-1 WCHA) took a big step toward its first WCHA playoff berth with a win and a tie against Lake Superior State.

Doug Reid

Doug Reid scored two goals at Lake Superior State last week. (Photo by Chris Brightwell)

On Friday, senior captain Doug Reid scored his first goal of the season in the second period to tie the Lakers at 1-1, which would be the final score. Carmine Guerriero had 25 saves on 26 shots.

On Saturday, Reid scored again to equalize the game at 1-1, but the Chargers were not finished. Max McHugh netted the game-winner in the third period, and Brent Fletcher added an empty-net goal to lift UAH to a 3-1 victory. Guerriero duplicated his line of 25 saves with only one goal allowed.

McHugh continues to lead the Chargers in scoring with 18 points, which is fourth among freshmen in the WCHA, and in goals with eight. He earned WCHA Rookie of the Week honors with his performance at LSSU.

Jack Prince had a couple of assists on Saturday to lift his line to 5-9-14. Brandon Parker added a helper of his own and now leads UAH with 12 assists.

Guerriero’s save percentage went up to .929, which is third in the WCHA. He has a 2.45 goals against average this season.

UAH Tale of the tape
(WCHA rank)
7-14-1 WCHA
Record 12-18-1
9-13-0 WCHA
1.70 (9th) Goals/game 2.16 (7th)
3.17 (8th) Goals allowed/game 2.39 (4rd)
15.2 (2nd) Pen. minutes/game 14.1 (4th)
15.7% (5th) Power play 10.3% (9th)
81.9% (8th) Penalty kill 87.0% (3rd)

About the Bulldogs: Ferris State (12-18-1 overall, 9-13-0 WCHA) split its two-game series at home against Bowling Green last week. The Bulldogs’ 3-2 overtime win on Saturday ended a seven-game losing streak — all of which were against league-leader and now-No. 2 Minnesota State and the eighth-ranked Falcons. Ferris State is 3-11 in its last 14 games.

The Bulldogs have unexpectedly had trouble scoring this season, only netting 2.16 goals per game. It’s been worse on the road with a 1.44 goals per game average.

It hasn’t helped that senior CJ Motte, their first-team all-WCHA goaltender last season, has had an inconsistent year. Motte still sports a 2.31 goals against average and .916 save percentage and four shutouts, but seven times this season (and three times during the Bulldogs’ seven-game losing streak) he has allowed four or more goals — all on the road.

The leading scorer for the Bulldogs is junior left wing Matt Robertson, who has 22 points on the season with six goals and a team-leading 16 assists. He did not dress against Bowling Green last week.

Ferris State’s leading goal-scorers are sophomores Chad McDonald and Kyle Schempp with eight. Schempp has missed the last three games after scoring five goals in his last seven.

WCHA Standings Record Pts.
Minnesota State** 19-3-2 40
Michigan Tech** 19-4-1 39
Bowling Green* 14-5-3 31
Alaska^ 10-12-2 22
Bemidji State 8-10-4 20
Northern Michigan 8-10-4 20
Ferris State 9-13-0 18
Alabama-Huntsville 7-14-1 15
Lake Superior State 6-17-1 13
Alaska-Anchorage 4-16-2 10
** Clinched home ice in first round
* Clinched playoff berth
^ Ineligible for postseason play

Around the WCHA: Three regular-season weeks left and the playoff chase is heating up. There are three conference series this week including UAH at Ferris State.

No. 8 Bowling Green hosts Northern Michigan needing only one point to clinch home ice in the first round. The Falcons are in third place, eight points behind Michigan Tech (which is idle) and nine behind first-place Minnesota State (also idle).

Alaska-Anchorage, currently out of playoff position and last place in the WCHA, heads to Bemidji State. Bemidji is tied with Northern Michigan for fifth place, which is currently the fourth seed (and last to host in the first round).

Here’s the schedule for league teams this week. All times are Central. All games can be seen online on WCHA TV.

Friday, February 20

Ferris State at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
Northern Michigan at #8 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska-Anchorage at Bemidji State, 7:37 p.m.

Saturday, February 21

Ferris State at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
Northern Michigan at #8 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska-Anchorage at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.

UAH beats Lake Superior 3-1 to win crucial road series

UAH coach Mike Corbett said two weeks ago after the Chargers’ dreadful series at Michigan Tech that the team’s response would determine whether they would make the WCHA playoffs.

Nothing was clinched this weekend, but the response the Chargers had in Sault Ste. Marie was a step in the right direction.

UAH defeated Lake Superior State 3-1 on Saturday, taking three points on the road from the Lakers and sole possession of eighth place (and seventh playoff seed) in the WCHA.

Carmine Guerriero made 25 saves, and Max McHugh scored the game-winner in the third period for the Chargers (8-18-4 overall, 7-14-1 WCHA), whose 15 points moved two clear of Lake Superior (7-23-2 overall, 6-17-1 WCHA) and five over Alaska-Anchorage (which was swept by Michigan Tech). UAH remained three points behind seventh-place Ferris State, which beat Bowling Green in overtime.

Unlike Friday when only one penalty was called all game, Saturday was penalty-filled, with lots of holding, tripping, roughing after the whistle, and general chippiness. Seventeen penalties were called total, with nine against UAH.

It started with Josh Kestner’s high sticking call at 5:41, then Graeme Strukoff was called for holding at 11:58. The Chargers were able to kill those penalties easily, but the big one came at 15:14, when Jeff Vanderlugt tripped and cross-checked LSSU’s Stephen Perfetto.

During the four-minute power play, UAH goaltender Carmine Guerriero made some key stops, keeping the game scoreless until a Lake Superior holding penalty on Garret Clemment ended the Lakers’ advantage.

UAH’s best scoring chance in the first period came with Brent Fletcher all alone in front of LSSU goaltender Gordon Defiel, who made the stop.

The Chargers started the second period with a power play extended by a tripping call on Lake Superior’s Aidan Wright. However, Perfetto found Gus Correale, who wristed a short-handed goal past Guerriero to give the Lakers a 1-0 lead just 43 seconds in the frame. It was Correale who scored Lake Superior’s lone goal Friday night.

But Doug Reid would do the same. The senior captain, who tied the game at 1-1 on Friday, did it again Saturday, beating Defiel with 5:05 left in the second. It was Reid’s second goal of the season, assisted by a nice pass by Jack Prince.

In the third, UAH would be the team to finally break through on the power play. The Chargers were already feeling the groove in the offensive zone and getting some shots on Defiel, and just nine seconds after LSSU’s Jayson Angus was called for holding, McHugh knocked in a rebound to give UAH the 2-1 lead with 11:32 to go.

McHugh was assisted by Prince’s second helper on the night, and Brandon Parker’s team-leading 12th assist of the season.

McHugh’s interference call gave the Lakers a chance to tie it, but despite a flurry where Guerriero had to make a couple of saves, the penalty was killed. LSSU finished 0-for-7 with the advantage for the game.

Defiel was pulled to give Lake Superior the extra attacker with two minutes left and continued to put on the pressure. But at the end, Brent Fletcher’s long clear found the empty net for the final 3-1 victory score.

UAH now comes home for two weeks with the goal of locking down its first WCHA playoff berth. Ferris State comes to Huntsville on Feb. 20 and 21, followed by Alaska on Feb. 27 and 28.

UAH and LSSU draw 1-1, remain tied in standings

UAH and Lake Superior State are two teams with the same number of wins and the same number of WCHA points, and about the same productivity on offense (which hasn’t been much this season). So Friday night’s 1-1 tie might come as no surprise, as the fact that the clubs remained tied in the WCHA standings.

Doug Reid scored the lone goal for the Chargers (7-18-4 overall, 6-14-1 WCHA), who remained tied with the Lakers (7-22-2 overall, 6-16-1 WCHA) with the last two WCHA playoff spots, in eighth place. Both are three points ahead of last-place Alaska-Anchorage, which lost to Michigan Tech, 5-1. UAH has two games in hand.

The teams face off again Saturday night at 6 p.m. Central Time in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, with another chance to move ahead of the other and enhance their playoff chances.

If the Chargers were rusty following the off week, it showed in the first 10 minutes. Missed passes and turnovers in the defensive zone led to a few opportunities for the Lakers to score the first goal of the game, but Carmine Guerriero made the stops. He made eight saves in those first 10 minutes.

But as the period progressed, the Chargers started to gain puck possession. They started to test Laker freshman goaltender Gordon Defiel, but Defiel showed why he has been the key to their success this season.

With each team winning a half of the first period, the shots on goal after one was tied at 9-9. However, neither team would find the net.

The Lakers would strike first, though. After a flurry around the UAH, Gus Correale gets a tip in past Guerriero to take a 1-0 lead at the 4:13 mark of the second period.

The Chargers would strike next, and what a strike it was. Reid, the senior captain, finally got this first goal of the season, snapping a blast from the left circle, beating Defiel high and tying the game at 1-1 at 7:46. Brent Fletcher got his fifth assist of the season, and Anderson White, typically a defenseman who started in left wing, earned his first.

Lake State kept Guerriero busy in the final minutes of the second, forcing him to make glove saves and scramble to cover the puck.

The game’s pace slowed in the third period. Guerriero and Defiel were called upon to make some big saves to keep the game tied, but neither team really commandeered control of the game.

In overtime, LSSU’s Bryce Schmitt had a partial break that was broken up by UAH’s Frank Misuraca, which was the best chance either club saw at an overtime winner.

UAH outshot LSSU 28-26, another example of just how close the two teams are. Guerriero finished with 25 saves, while Defiel had 27 in a battle of star goaltenders for clubs building for the future.

Notes: Only one penalty was called the whole game — an elbowing call on UAH’s Cody Marooney at the 4:32 mark of the first. … UAH is 2-1-2 all-time at Lake Superior State. … It was only the second time this season the Chargers outshot their opponent. The other time was Nov. 15 in Huntsville, also against Lake Superior State (30-25).